Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commander of the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presents a Distinguished Military Graduate award to 2nd Lt. Anja Bliss during a Pinning and First Salute ceremony held at Central Michigan University May 9. Werner presented a similar award to 2nd Lt. Nolan Rowland (not pictured) during the ceremony.
Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commander of the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presents a Distinguished Military Graduate award to 2nd Lt. Anja Bliss during a Pinning and First Salute ceremony held at Central Michigan University May 9. Werner presented a similar award to 2nd Lt. Nolan Rowland (not pictured) during the ceremony. (Photo Credit: Capt. Patrick O'Neill) VIEW ORIGINAL

DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. – In comments delivered May 9 to newly graduated and commissioned Army second lieutenants at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, stressed the importance of authentic leadership.

“If I have one bit of advice to offer from my 33 years of Army experience, that would be to put people first,” Werner told the new officers in the socially-distanced, indoor gathering. The group of approximately 15 Soldiers graduated and were commissioned during previous ceremonies conducted the same morning.

“Lead not to receive accolades or acclaim, but lead by considering the needs and perspectives of the Soldiers you serve with.”

Werner stated that the Army’s top three priorities were people, readiness and modernization, and emphasized that they would all learn more about each of the priorities as they begin their careers.

“The Army,” he said, “is made up of people from all different backgrounds bringing their varied experiences, skills and abilities to the achievement of a common mission.”

During the ceremony, friends and family members “pinned” each new officer by affixing second lieutenant rank to their Army Service Uniform’s epaulets. In a time-honored tradition, each new lieutenant then returned their first official salute presented by a non-commissioned officer, followed by presenting the NCO with a silver-dollar coin.

Maj. Gen. Werner graduated from CMU in 1988, majoring in biology and participating in the university’s Reserve Officer Training Program.